mary_wetschka

I want to fall in love again...with my kitchen!

MinnesotaMary
6 months ago

My kitchen is 23 years old and while I have loved it a long time, I have been out of love the past few years and need to make some changes.


The cabinets are solid cherry and high quality so they are staying. Many of the doors and drawer fronts are showing their age so we are thinking we will replace all of them with a new, updated style finished to match the boxes and new hardware. The layout works well though I think the appliance garage looks dated. It looks like we can remove that entire cabinet as it is separate. Would you just run the cabinet straight across that wall?


I am very tired of the Verdi butterfly granite and we want to replace it. I love the idea of marble but I have a messy - though lovable - husband. Any ideas? Would you do a waterfall to lighten things up or is that a trend? We will also replace the backsplash.


We are thinking we will replace the island - removing the sink that is never used and installing a microwave drawer and add more drawers/storage space. We have room to make the island about 8 inches longer.


The desk area is also dated and never used. Can’t remember the last time I looked at a cookbook. And we both have laptops so the desktop computer just runs our music and photos. I am fine with pulling that section of cabinets out and starting over. What would you do there? Different color cabinet? Glass insets?


The Brazilian cherry floors will be refinished (first time in 23 years) and while the red tone bugs me from time to time, the flooring runs through the dining room and open foyer and is in excellent shape so staying.


Bottom line: we are empty nesters but still entertain a lot and plan to stay in the house for the foreseeable future. We know the next buyers will be 30-somethings as we live in a highly coveted family neighborhood. So I want the kitchen to appeal to that buyer when the time comes.


The kitchen feels too traditional and too monochromatic/dark and I want to fall in love again. Any feedback would be welcome.


(I can't seem to post photos so will try to add in comments.)

Comments (455)

  • Rebekah Gibbs
    6 months ago

    Maybe a new lighter backplash and counter and new hardware? I think your cabinets and floor are beuatiful and very impressive looking!


    MinnesotaMary thanked Rebekah Gibbs
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  • mnmamax3
    2 months ago

    @MinnesotaMary I've been checking in here and there, but busy with my college and HS seniors trying to help them find jobs and schools.


    Definitely check the vent placement on your new KA. Ours was just replaced a year plus ago and is side vented and does not sit flush (and would not be able to vent if it did). I also am pretty disappointed with it. Does not seem to clean very well - and of course it's just past the one-year warranty. I've done all the recommended maintenance.

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  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    Hello. Hope everyone is doing well.

    Kitchen Update: I have my cabinet maker and hardwood floor guy onboard. Met with both as well as the plumber (via skype) to consult on placing a trash pull-out under the sink. So far, everything is going well.


    Also met with the KD and ironed out some of the layout details which meant a couple of changes and a design dilemma.


    To recap, we are going to refinish our Brazilian cherry floors which will hopefully result in lovely rich brown floors (there will always be a red undertone but the plan is to greatly minimize it while still maintaining the beauty and warmth of BC.) We have decided to run the flooring into our sunroom and will remove the cased opening to allow better flow from the dining space and add more light. Taking the floors in there will visually open and lighten the space. We are going with warm white perimeter cabinets and cherry island. I am still working on the beverage center design - it seems to be taking a back seat.


    Floors will continue into sunroom and wall will come out. The post will be hidden in a side-facing bookcase for cookbooks, etc. New dining table, chairs, bar stools.




    I am moving the fridge and wall ovens to the wall opposite the sink wall; there will also be a pantry on that wall. We decided on the Sub Zero 42 FD and Bosch side door double ovens. The island will have tuck-under stools and will serve as my landing spot for the oven. Not ideal but it's just the two of us and it will work.




    The cooktop will have its own wall and lots of counter space! I really like this hood.



    I am ditching the Super Susan in the corner and going with 3 drawer stacks. Something like this. I will have more room than this layout but you get the idea. My plan is to flank the hood with equal sized uppers and I will have 25 inches left in the corner (similar to this photo). I don't think I want to wrap the corner as I would end up with only 12 inch cabinet next to the window. I think the corner cabinet needs to be its own design element but not sure what to do with it. KD doesn't like glass and I'm fine with that Would you bring that cabinet out and down to the counter like this? Or any other ideas?



    Here is my rough floor plan. The cabinet maker is drafting new ones with the changes. I need to figure out that upper corner; need to decide on stainless vs cast iron for my sink (single bowl, rear left drain); and start the countertop search. It's getting kind of exciting! Would welcome any feedback.



  • mnmamax3
    last month

    I don't know if you've already covered the, but I think I would swap the microwave for the drawers, so the micro is closest to sink, fridge etc. You will have drawers under your stove for pans, I think you can walk a few steps to the other dishes, assuming the micro won't hit the DW when open.

    Enjoying the progress! Can't wait to see the finished product.

  • tedbixby
    last month

    You can start to look at countertops but until your cabinets are in, I wouldn't commit to anything as far as countertops and backsplashes. They both can read so differently once the cabinets are installed and are seen in your natural light and lighting. Countertops that look "neutral" can bring out different undertones in the paint color of cabinets which we often see it happen on Houzz where someone selects a countertop before the cabinets are put in and all of suddenly their creamy white or even white cabinets now have a yellow cast to them.

    In case it has been overlooked proper lighting, including under cabinet, needs to be near the top of your to-do list about now, too.

  • Design Girl
    last month

    @MinnesotaMary - Glad you're back. At least someone's getting things done. So happy to hear your progress. It seems you have made most of your decisions and it looks great. Interesting that you're getting rid of the super susan and using drawers. So you'll lose some corner space, but pick up drawer space. I'll have to see if something like that would work for me. The fridge/oven/pantry wall looks good, as does the cooktop area. I absolutely LOVE the hood you posted. I like that the hood will be flanked with cabinets of equal size. I always try for symmetry when possible. In terms of the cabinet to the far far left on the cooktop wall, I agree that I would run it straight to the window wall and NOT turn it. No cabinet necessary to the right of your sink, as the area is small. I still ponder your microwave placement. I know you don't want a countertop model but I might do that. It seems you have a 24 inch cabinet there with the updated appliance garage. Everyone's different, but I think if it were me, I'd put a small microwave there to free up my island for more storage, while getting symmetry at the same time. Keep us all posted. We are living vicariously through you.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    @mnmamax3, Thanks for following along! I thought about the micro drawer on that end but am wondering if it would get in the way of the dishwasher, me at the sink or cooktop. My thought was that I would put DH's oatmeal, micro popcorn, teas, etc. in one of the 48-inch uppers right across from where I have the micro drawer so he has his own little station. The dishes and silverware will be in those drawers below the 48 uppers so he can transfer leftovers on that counter and heat them up while not getting in my way!


    @tedbixby, I never thought about waiting until cabinets are already in to select countertop. Is that what most people do? How long does it take to fabricate/install once tops have been selected? I figured once the cabinets are set, I'd be on the home stretch and ready to cook! Haha. And yes, good reminder about lighting. So important. Adding it to the list.


    @Design Girl, it feels good to be moving forward despite the slowdown of life in general. Glad you like the hood design. I wanted the cabinets to run right up to the hood so as not to have that space in between. Yet I wanted something with some interesting lines/design. This seems to meet the criteria. As for the micro on the counter in that corner, I don't know. I have such a love-hate relationship with that appliance (a necessary evil in my household) that I am embracing the idea of not seeing it. DH would really be in my way if he had to squeeze into that corner! Haha!

    I don't think I want open shelving in the corner but I did see this and am wondering if I could make it work. My coffee maker would probably live in that space on the counter so I could keep mugs, etc on the suspended shelf and still have use of the cabinet above. It would be an interesting design element yet allow the symmetry of the hood and adjoining cabinets to stand alone?



    Or I could do one long door rather than have the appliance garage "look" yet still have the storage? (This picture makes me laugh. What the heck is going on with these countertops?)


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    Let me know what you think, Houzzers!

  • Design Girl
    last month

    @MinnesotaMary - You have some great ideas, and I like all of them. I think I'd lean away from the appliance garage look if not hiding something there like a Kitchen Aid, microwave, toaster oven, etc. It could be a great hide away spot if that would work for you, but still looks a bit old school to me. I like the shelf idea, however, I'm not sure I'd like it in the corner. I assumed that your coffee station would be in the beverage center/coffee station. Would it get dirty or splashed with dishes from the sink etc.? Maybe you need it closer to your main cooking area though. The last pic you posted with the drawer is very pretty, and if not needing to hid something in the "garage" is my favorite. It's a classic yet transitional look and would go nicely with the finishes you've selected. You don't even have to have the drawer and could run the cabinet to the counter. The drawer looks pretty as well. Ted Bixby brings up a good point about countertops, but I have always had mine selected before as well. It takes a lot of time to do it correctly. Yes, there are many here on Houzz that post what one would call a "miss" with the counters but perhaps they didn't give everything proper consideration and thought. Many just jump in without really thinking things through. You are very thorough and I feel will do your homework before committing. Obviously looking at things in your space with your lighting is the way to go. I don't know how things work out in Minnesota, but perhaps you could have several selected. Have you decided what material or look you're going for? Keep going, you're almost there.

    MinnesotaMary thanked Design Girl
  • Missi (4b IA)
    last month

    Still enjoying following along here!

    MinnesotaMary thanked Missi (4b IA)
  • tedbixby
    last month
    last modified: last month

    All I can say regarding selecting the countertop ahead of time is that I've been on Houzz a long time and there have been plenty of postings where people have picked out their countertops in advance and were disappointed as the cabinets and the countertop didn't compliment each other after all. There have also been plenty that changed their mind of what their countertop was going to be once they got the cabinets in. And I have yet to read a posting where someone states that it took awhile for the fabricator to do it. It seems in the scope of the whole project it is a non-issue which I personally have found to be true, too. If this is a concern then you may want to ask your Contractor the turnaround time and decide what you want to do. And whatever you do, do not pick your countertop from a little sample.

    MinnesotaMary thanked tedbixby
  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    @Design Girl, Yes, I'm planning on the coffee maker near/next to that corner cabinet. The sink is right there for water; I was planning to put coffee cups, filters, sugar cubes, sweeteners right there. The bar/beverage center will primarily be for entertaining - all of our wine and cocktail glasses, bar accessories and liquor bottles will be housed there and we will have a dual wine/beverage fridge. The thought of DH filling the coffee pot with water and making his way all the way across the kitchen to the bar without dripping or spilling makes me nervous. Ha!


    I have seen a lot of people put open shelves in the corner to solve that awkward design spot which is why that suspended shelf struck me - it's only one shelf. But the down to the counter cabinet might be a longer lasting design.


    Have not decided on countertop material so I need to get focused on that and perhaps have a few options.


    @tedbixby, good insight and great advice. Thanks!

  • Design Girl
    last month

    @MinnesotaMary - I get it. You'd be mopping up the floors with the spills. I'm trying to envision the shelf in the corner. The picture you posted looks cool but it seems that the cabinet above the shelf is quite short and then the shelf comes down to what would be the standard 18 inches above the counter. Since that photo is one cabinet without anything else adjoining I think it looks good. Do you think that a shorter cabinet with the shelf would look weird next to a cabinet of regular height (the cabinet next to your hood). Do you have pictures of the shelf next to regular height uppers? I'd love to see if you do. I wish I was as far along as you are. Corona has really put a damper on things in the NY metro area.

  • tedbixby
    last month

    Came across this recent posting regarding countertop/cabinets and thought if you are considering a counter material with white in it that you might glean some things from it.

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5918137/what-quartzite-slabs-goes-good-with-white-cabinets

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    @Design Girl, that makes sense about the shelf and cabinet height - I don't think it will work in this application. I am considering coming down to the counter with doors/no drawers. Still trying to figure out how that will look. If I had a smaller door, I could store the Vitamix and toaster in there. And I would have a taller door on top of that - pulled out 15 inches so it stands on its own plus will be more functional at the bottom. The other option is to have open counter under there but then the cabinets will lose the symmetry I seem to crave. I'm still considering.


    @tedbixby, thanks for posting that link. I am half excited and half terrified to start the countertop search. Since I already have white woodwork throughout the main floor and in the kitchen, my KD suggested taking a piece of the trim (23 year-old BM linen white) and have it color matched. I guess the idea is that I would not have to paint everything (plus my plantation shutters match the current "white"). Do you guys think that is feasible - to match the current color and hope it stays the same?


    Right now, I am trying to decide stainless vs cast iron for the sink as well as left drain/right drain since I need room for a trash pull-out. I started a thread on that issue but I haven't really made any progress. I can't complain, however, as I feel like at least I am moving forward!

  • mnmamax3
    last month

    I agree with KD - match what you have for trim. It should be full faded at this point.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    Happy Memorial Day! I am taking the day to work on some pesky kitchen details that continue to stump me. The dreaded corner - ack! Here are the ideas I am considering and would like any input.

    Here is the existing sink wall and corner. The fridge will move from that cooktop wall; we will have just the cooktop and vent hood flanked by upper cabinets. Cooktop will be centered.


    Number 1 - I will have a new single pane window about this size with three equal uppers on the left. This shows a cabinet flanking the window on the right (this would be about the size; I don't think I will be doing glass)


    Number 2 - This shows two equal banks of cabinets with a wider, single door at far left - no turning the corner. I would have about 14 inches of wall space between window and cabinet run,


    3. Turn the corner with open shelves up to the window frame.



    4. Shelving that comes to the counter, though I could also cut the shelving at the bottom of the other cabinets so we have open counter under the shelving,


    Any thoughts? Or other ideas? I need to get this settled so I can decide on my sink! One dilemma at a time...

  • mnmamax3
    last month

    #1 - This is fine and accessible but there is wasted or difficult-to-access space back on the corner.


    #2 - extra cabinet space but hard to access if you're shorter, so good if you need the space but with all our other storage, do you?


    #3 - open shelves are a nice way to bring in some color and greenery, but major dust collectors. Will you be ok with dusting? This one is my favorite because it visually opens up the space.


    #4 - This provides some useful, accessible storage and some not as useful. I don't love this option because you are already planning on a bookshelf at the end of the pillar.


  • Design Girl
    last month

    @MinnesotaMary - Happy Memorial Day - Looking at your diagram further up this post am I correct that the cabinets along the cooktop wall are all pretty equal (25-27 inches)? So here are my thoughts.


    #1 - A perfectly fine option. I agree that there will be some wasted storage, but that cabinet wouldn't be that wide (would it), so getting in the corner shouldn't be a big deal.


    #2 - Again, a nice looking option. Am I correct that this cabinet would be about the same size (27 inches) as the others flanking the cooktop? So three equally sized cabinets along that wall.


    #3 - This is my least favorite. It seems out of balance and kind of farmhouse style which you are not going for.


    #4 - I really like this one. It's my favorite. It utilizes the space well and because the cabinet/shelving has a different look, it makes the cabinets flanking the hood seem very balanced. I agree that you already have a bookshelf, but I wouldn't use it for that purpose. I'd use this for pretty things. I could fill this up in a second with serving bowls, pretty glassware, smaller Le Creuset dutch ovens, rattan baskets or trays, pitchers, vases, etc. This option gives relief from so much cabinetry while still having a purpose, and adding texture to the space. The drawers would be useful for placemats, napkins, cutting boards. They could even be your junk drawers leaving others for a better purpose. I vote #4.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks for the input - some additional info:

    #1 - the cabinet on the sink wall if we turn the corner will be about 15 inches: I am wondering if this will look skimpy? I would use it for coffee cups, coffee supplies, etc. I would possibly put the TV back in the corner but will that look like a clutter show if I also have the coffeemaker under the 15 -inch cabinet? I can also keep the TV where it is to the left of the sink.


    #2 - the end cabinet on the left (if run straight to the sink wall) would be 24-25 inches and the two sets flanking the hood are like 27-28. I think would want just one door on that cabinet if we choose this option. Again, coffee cups and supplies would live there with DH's cups on the second shelf (he is 6'3" so has a long reach) Corner could possibly be home to the TV; coffee maker would be in this area as well.


    #3 - the shelves would be about 15 inches and would possibly offer some symmetry around the window? I would use them for the pretty everyday coffee mugs, my favorite color ceramic teapot and a touch of greenery. Corner TV and coffeemaker again, possibly. For sure coffeemaker.


    #4 - Shelves would be about 24 inches so a bit wide for a shelf? Same MO - coffee mugs, teapot and ? but no books as mnmama pointed out I will have the bookshelf at the end of the sink wall.


    FWIW, KD likes #1 and DH likes #2.

  • M R
    last month


    Juat found this thread, we are dealing with the dreaded corner issue as well. Another corner option you may like. Best of luck.

    MinnesotaMary thanked M R
  • tedbixby
    last month


    color cabinet trend - Google Search · More Info



    upper corner in kitchen cabinets - Google Search · More Info


    MinnesotaMary thanked tedbixby
  • mnmamax3
    last month

    I like Ted's option because it eliminates the dusting and gives the shelf a different look than the bookshelf but are you using glass anywhere else? It almost seems too random and I'd be forever cleaning the glass because I am a messy dishes person.

    Did you already rule out a true corner cabinet? I can't recall and don't have time to scroll back... Some of these look less like appliance garage and more modern (and can maybe incorporate your tv too).



    Dream home · More Info




    Warrenton, Virginia Elegant Kitchen · More Info

    ^ no to the bonus appliance garage...

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    @mnmamax3, I know what you mean about cleaning the glass! And we were not planning on glass other than the beverage center. We have also said no to the corner cabinet so that is out - we have lived with that 23 years. I have asked our cabinet guy to re-draw the sink wall bringing the uppers right to the trim to see if that right cabinet will look less skimpy. Kind of like this.


  • Design Girl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @MinnesotaMary - The dreaded corner always rears its' ugly head. It seems you've' eliminated the shelves #3 which I think is wise. IMO if you went with option #1, I don't think you'll ever get the cabinet not to look skimpy. The space just isn't there, it is what it is. I also think that the large span of cabinets to the left of the sink makes a small cabinet to the right look skimpy. We always look at things in relation/proportion to others. That option also looks the least interesting to me and a bit "old school", but not as "old school" as the 24 inch corner cabinet most of us have/had. That leaves #2 and #4. In both those options all the cabinet widths on the cooktop wall are approximately the same size and makes for a pleasing aesthetic. Option # 2 will leave you with counter space where you can put your tv and coffee pot. That's where my TV is and makes it nice to watch while prepping. There's not much work you can do in a corner, so it's a great place for the TV, and will free up more usable counter space elsewhere. If the counter space is going to be a plus for you, then this is a really nice option. #4 is nice as well, and very interesting looking but may not give you the counter space you may find important/useful.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    Here are the drawings showing what we are considering. He said my base drawers will be more unbalanced with the first option. My contractor suggested we go a bit smaller on the new window since we are going with a single pane admitting more light. If we shorted the window a couple of inches, we would have a wider cabinet to the right of the window and would bring it right to the trim. Thoughts?


    Decided on all my appliances today except DW - considering Miele, Asko and Cove (Wolf/SZ). Need to nail that decision down. Also working on the sink!






  • tedbixby
    last month
    last modified: last month

    As far as the dishwasher, I find some of those brands interiors run a bit small and not much space between the tines for items I would want to put in the dishwasher so if you haven't yet, you may want to take some of your dishes & pots, etc to the store and see how they fit for you.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    @tedbixby, I think this is going to be one of those trade-off things. We want a panel-ready DW since we are doing a paneled SZ. You can only get a flush install on the European brands.


    The showroom where I am purchasing appliances had a wide variety of plates, glasses, pots and pans so I could estimate how they compare to mine, try the dishes in the various models and make some informed decisions.


    Having said that, I forgot to ask about the Cove install. I know I can get flush installation with the Miele and Asko. She said the Kitchen Aid (which I have and like a lot) sit proud. The Cove seems to be more spacious so am looking hard at it.

  • mnmamax3
    last month

    Second option without the "mini-cabinet". It just looks cleaner and like there is a little room to breathe, rather than cramming the space full of cabinets. With cabinets all along the opposite wall that will be a good thing.

  • Design Girl
    last month

    Agree - I like the second option better.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    With all that is going on in our country, kitchen planning seems like years ago. But since I have a flooring guy lined up for August, I need to move forward.


    Had some bad news last weekend - my cabinet guy baled on us. Visited another cabinet shop Friday and they can accommodate my current schedule so will probably go with them. Since most of the floor plan has already been drawn, it's not like we are starting over.


    Met with the KD Thursday and ironed out a few details that I am mulling over. As I mentioned earlier - I think - we are widening the opening to our sunroom allowing more light/open feel. And we will run the wood flooring out there to allow the eye to take in more expansive view. We discussed the corner and have decided we will NOT turn the corner but to create a bit more symmetry on the sink wall, we are reducing the upper cabinets on the left of the window so we will have equal breathing room on both sides of the window - about 15 inches.


    She thinks we should bring the end cabinet on the cooktop wall (that will end in the corner) down to the counter but keep it at the same depth (12.5 inches) as the other uppers so as not to lose counter space. That far left cabinet will be about 26.5 inches wide. The uppers on either side of the hood would be about 27.5 inches wide. They were all drawn as 2-door cabinets.


    Is 12.5 depth on that end cabinet deep enough for a cabinet that comes to the counter? It seems most are more like 15 inches deep. I guess the good news is I have made a decision to not turn the corner and open up the sink wall visually but the bad news is I am still confused about that stupid corner!


    Looks to consider:

    I like this but is 26.6 too wide for a single door? Do you lose the hood symmetry?


    These are all single doors but this one shows the end one coming down to the counter and it looks to be maybe 15 inches deep.


    Shelving which looks to be about 25 inches wide though same depth as upper. Would not use as book shelf but would hold Le Creuset, bowls, dust. LOL - I can dust! And imagine the cabinet to the right about the same width but 2 doors. Any thoughts? Am I missing an option?


  • julieboulangerie
    last month

    12 inch uppers are not deep enough to hold most Le Creuset pieces, they'll stick out.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @julieboulangerie My largest piece is a "26" and is 11 1/4 in diameter so just barely. I realized it would be impossible for me to retrieve them without a step stool and they are so darn heavy so ok, maybe not! Thanks for the feedback. It would look pretty, though!

  • Design Girl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @MinnesotaMary - Welcome back - I'm sorry your cabinet maker baled, however you have made some decisions. To answer one of your questions, I think that 12.5 inches is fine for a cabinet that comes down to the counter. I have a whole wall of those in my basement that come down to a desk top and they are just fine. While all the pictures you posted are lovely, my favorite is the one with the open shelves. I like the fact that it's something a bit different and not just more cabinets. It gives relief to the eye and will be a great spot for your LeCreusets, or other pretty things you want to display. I really like the fact that the whole wall is tiled and they tiled the back of the shelves too. Not going down to the counter will also give you a bit more counter space. I realize that you'll have to dust and use a stool (if DH is not around), but that's not a big deal. The other option with the 26 inch door may be a bit much and imo won't look as nice as this one. I find kitchens are more interesting when they have some interesting elements going on and not just cabinetry.

    MinnesotaMary thanked Design Girl
  • tedbixby
    last month

    Mary- I came across this photo with the corner cabinet with the microwave. Don't know if would be helpful but thought I'd post it even if the layout is different you might glean a corner idea if you are still looking.


    170 Hunter Lake Dr, Gowen, MI 49326 | MLS #19028766 | Zillow · More Info


  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks for continuing to offer ideas and guidance. It is good to know I have some smart people in my camp. After a few days (and nights!) of thinking about the dreaded corner, I think we have a plan. We decided we really want to keep the countertop open and not bring cabinetry down to the counter. We have lived with the appliance garage 23 years and it's one of the things that has bugged me and contributed to my falling out of love with my kitchen.


    Because that space won't be the most accessible by little 'ol me (shorty), we did not think it was wise to put anything there I need on a regular basis. I seriously considered the open shelving but with open shelving at the end of that sink wall, it started feeling matchy-matchy. I wanted to have a spot for the Vitamix and Instapot (appliances I use now and then) so we decided to place those in a cabinet with an Avento lift door. The cabinet will be more horizontal looking and I will be able to access it. I will just lift out those items and use next to the sink. We are going to pull out all of the uppers on the cooktop wall to 15 inches deep (thanks, @wilson853) so the "cubby" will be plenty deep and will be on the same plane with the other uppers. Above the Avento door cabinet will be an open cabinet with a shallow back wall so we can install a TV bracket and "float" the TV in that cabinet. We will trim out the top and with the crown, it will blend in but look like a separate design element. Something like this but better looking! I can easily see the TV from my prep spot left of the sink; from the island stools and the table. I think it is a great solution!



    Visited the plumbing supply showroom and loved the Kohler Whitehaven short apron sink. Also looked and like Elkay stainless single bowl with offset drain. Considering a handful of faucets but probably need to decide on sink first.


    I have visited 5 stone yards/showrooms with DH and have not been struck by the stone cupid yet. I do have some Taj Mahal slabs on hold. The KD is steering me to warm, soft, and quiet - and she likes quartz. A lot of the TM leans gray which doesn't seem to work well with my aged BM Linen which I would call ivory now. I have seen a couple slabs online that look warmer but when I put my cabinet door against it, they lean gray. One yard is shipping what they call warmer cream TM to my local showroom so I will be able to see it next week.


    After a rather discouraging trip today, DH asked if we could just change the cabinet color so it works better with the stone we like. I can't face re-painting all the trim on the main floor to match a "new" white so in a quandry. Maybe there is a way to have two whites? I have had more hot flashes in the past week than in the past year! Yikes, it is stressful.


    My DH did say something that made me realize why I love him so much. At one point, as I was lusting after yet another marble slab, he quietly said "just tell me what I would need to do." I smiled and blew him a kiss. I didn't dare say "never step into the kitchen!"


    I am meeting with a new cabinet company designer next week and they can make my schedule so it might work out. We are also considering taking down the cased openings to the family room and sunroom though my contractor seems a bit reluctant. I'm a tough negotiator though so we'll see...buckle up! Hahaha! Forward progress...

  • Design Girl
    15 days ago

    @MinnesotaMary - How's it going out there? We just signed the contract for the addition and remodel, yikes. The stress is building. Hope all is well. Keep us updated.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    15 days ago

    @Design Girl - Oh, wow! Very exciting!! And so it begins for you. I'm sure it will be beautiful - you have been designing your space in your head for some time. Implementing the vision is the tough part, however, as I'm finding out. Please keep us posted on your progress.


    I am making progress here as well. I made a final decision on countertop yesterday. Met the designer at the granite place so she could put her stamp of approval on the Taj Mahal quartzite we found and she LOVES it. "Soft, quiet but with the lovely caramel veining" she was hoping to see. She loves it so much (as do we) that we will run it up as backsplash so I don't have to make that decision down the line. A two-fer!


    My new cabinet company seems excellent; I. really liked the cabinet designer who came out to the house and talked over all the details, measured, etc. I just sent the last of the changes, hopefully, so should have a drawing soon.


    We ended up with a hybrid decision on the corner - open shelving but will include the idea to "float" the TV on the middle shelf. Or should I just keep the TV on the counter?


    I decided on the Kohler Whitehaven farm sink (not the short apron) and we are going to pull the sink wall out a couple of inches to allow more breathing space behind the sink. The new awning style window will come down to the counter. The sink has an offset right drain so I will have a trash pullout on the left and a "products" pullout on the right. Compact garbage disposal. Still deciding on the faucet.


    Because we are somewhat limited by the under-sink trash - and I was concerned a bit about being in the way especially when entertaining, I am adding an 18-inch trash/recycle pullout in the island at the end near the cooktop and fridge. Yes, I lose some island real estate, but we added a few inches on the other end and I think I will be happy with this when all is said and done.


    Pulled the trigger on the appliances Thursday - the credit card took a big hit. But also glad to have that behind me. We ended up with SZ 42 FD fridge; Bosch double ovens with the side swing doors; Bosch induction cooktop; Sharp undercounter micro; Miele dishwasher; Zephyr Preserv Dual wine and beverage fridge and Vent A Hood liner for our custom hood.


    Oh! We have also decided on a hybrid for the end of the sink wall run where I have the support post. The KD wanted a bookshelf there but I wasn't loving the idea - wanted something more functional but pretty. Hopefully, it will be something like this. This faces the dining space and family room so I like the idea of lighting and some storage. Not sure exactly how I will use it yet but I will come up with a plan.



    I mentioned that we are removing short walls/cased openings to the sunroom and family room and we are moving ahead with that idea. It should really open up the space and provide more light and cohesiveness. Surprisingly, DH is really excited about this part of the project. I hope we are making the right decision.


    There are still several details I need to wrap up and I have begun the process of purging and packing - kind of fun; kind of not. Haha!


    DEMO starts July 20!!! On my way to falling in love again?!? Thanks for all the input, Houzzers!

  • Design Girl
    15 days ago

    WOW - You're really going to start. I'm so glad you found your stone. That can be a big hurdle and I'm so glad you LOVE it. I think you'll be really pleased with your new layout. I think it is very efficient for the space. I love the corner solution you've chosen. I'm not sure where I'd put the TV. Maybe if it were me I'd leave it on the counter as I am short and don't want to crane my neck looking up. However, maybe you've go other uses for that dead corner space. Either way it will look great. I love the glass "bookcase" as well. It's very pretty. I'm sure the appliances are a big hit to the wallet. Not looking forward to that. I know I'm getting the SZ, and probably the Blue Star induction cooktop (although I do love the looks of the Viking). I've just heard a lot of negative reports on Viking recently. If I do the Blue Star I should probably do the double ovens the same. I'm a little scared as most in my area do either Wolf or Thermador but neither have a cooktop with knobs. Who knows maybe something new will come out before I have to pull the trigger. The architect is not quick, then there's putting the project out to bid, and the permits. I'm exhausted already.

  • Design Girl
    13 days ago

    @MinnesotaMary - I have a few questions for you. I too am thinking of the Whitehaven sink. What did you find out regarding the cast iron vs. fireclay? Benefits of one vs. the other? I was also wondering if you know anything about those Rev A shelf ( or the like)? I'm thinking I might be able to squeeze one in if I make my sink cabinet 33 instead of 36 (if I can still fit the sink) and then that small 9 inch cabinet becomes a 12 inch. It seems like it would allow me to not have to lift that heavy thing which I use a lot as I love to bake. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm so excited for you.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    @Design Girl, Here is a link to one of the threads I read as I tried to make my sink decision. In the end, I went to a Kohler showroom and looked at the 36 Whitehaven (internal bowl is actually 30 3/4 inches). The warranty, the durability and the beautiful sea salt color sold me. You would need to look at the 32-inch Whitehaven (bowl width is 27 3/4) that would fit in a 33-inch cabinet.

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2468448/cast-iron-vs-fireclay-sink


    I know Rev A Shelf is a company that has a lot of storage and cabinet solutions. Are you talking about the electric mixer lift cabinet? I have seen them in Houzz kitchens but have no personal experience. Just make sure you have the specs on the lift cabinet to see if you can fit it in your available space. I think it requires a 15-inch width opening.

    https://rev-a-shelf.com/16775?


    Thanks! I have had ebbs and flows and I'm sure there are more to come but overall, I am really excited to start the process. I look forward to following your progress, too.

  • Design Girl
    13 days ago

    @MinnesotaMary - Thanks, I am reading the threads as I write. I already think I'm going to get the Whitehaven. Yes, I'm talking about the mixer lift. I will research those as well. I don't want to sacrifice sink space for a mixer lift so I'll look into another place for it. What are you going to do with yours? Can you imagine mine is OVER my double ovens. I certainly get a work out from getting it up and down. I'm sure I can find a better place. You will be all done before we even start. I am so excited to follow your progress.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    @Design Girl, mine will stay where I have it now - on a fixed shelf in my weirdly shaped pantry cabinet. It has a boxed-in flue in the back left corner and the KA fits perfectly in front of that. So it is at waist height and easy for me to move to my workspace.

    That cabinet has all fixed shelves because of the flue and I store all my heavier small appliances in there. The only tough ones to retrieve are on the bottom of the cabinet but I store my waffle irons, and two smaller crockpots so not used that often and are not really heavy.

    Not sure I will be all done before you start. My hope is to be done mid-September!

  • tedbixby
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Design Girl- I moved into a house with a Rev A Shelf for the mixer. I used it a couple of times with my 7 qt Kitchen Aid mixer. I'm a rather messy baker and found that the shelf wasn't big enough with the mixer on it to catch any thing that missed being put in the bowl. I found myself often having to clean the floor below it. Maybe a smaller size mixer would have different results and a neater baker. I ended up removing the Shelf from the cabinet.

  • Design Girl
    13 days ago

    @tedbixby - That's great to hear. I did see the shelf and it does appear small. I can see me cracking eggs and it getting all over the place. Maybe I'll just leave it out on the counter, or find a better spot. Thanks.

  • tedbixby
    13 days ago

    My mixer is in a bottom cabinet and sits on the bottom of the cabinet with no other shelving inside the cabinet so I'm not trying to maneuver around a shelf, too. I actually have 2 7 qt mixers stored in it and have no problem pulling either of them out or putting them back in.

  • Design Girl
    13 days ago

    Well, that's what I'll do - the Kitchen Aid and the Cuisinart. Time to rearrange the cabinets. I'm getting too old for this.

  • Cindy Warren Fialka
    13 days ago

    Wow I could have almost written your post word for word. I have a 25 year old cherry kitchen in good shape. But I have tile floors. Dislike my backsplash and the worthless desk. Looking forward to seeing what you do. Without reading the numerous posts are you getting all new cabinets?

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    @Cindy Warren Fialka, Hi! After considering every possibility, yes, we are getting new cabinetry. We talked to refinishers and considered re-facing, painting, etc. In the end, I knew I wanted an updated kitchen with a new layout, mostly drawers for storage, a double oven that will be easier for me to use as I age (66 going on...), a more open layout and a brighter space. My daughter and SIL live in our area and can use many of our cabinets and all of our appliances in their builder-grade kitchen so it's a win-win. Otherwise, we would have donated them to our local Re-Use center or Habitat for Humanity.


    We are refinishing the cherry floors with a warm, medium dark stain to help diminish the red; will install beautiful new custom white cabinetry and we just selected a gorgeous Taj Mahal quartzite for countertops and backsplash. We are also making some other cosmetic changes to the adjoining rooms which will bring our main floor into 2020 and I expect to love it and enjoy it for the next 10 years! It will also be a big selling point when and if we choose to move some day.


    Good luck with your decisions!

  • Cindy Warren Fialka
    13 days ago

    Ah I completely get it. I just turned 61. It’s great your cabinets and appliances can go to a good home. I’d like my kitchen to be lighter as well. Your white cabs and quartzite will be beautiful. I’m kind of obsessed with rift sawn or quarter sawn oak cabinets and I never though I could like oak again. But it looks so different compared to the awful orange oak. We shall see. We’re waiting til next year due to COVID.


    We have Brazilian cherry in our family room. In October we had the floor refinished and a dark (or was it medium) walnut stain applied. I am so happy we did it. Looks SO much better. Actually when the floor was sanded down and bare we considered no stain. The floor was pretty cool looking and if I decorated with Scandinavian decor I might have left it that way.

  • MinnesotaMary
    Original Author
    9 hours ago
    last modified: 9 hours ago

    I am starting the arduous task of packing up the kitchen and much of the main level this weekend and needed a break!

    We have decided on Taj Mahal quartzite for our countertops; KD will select white paint color; we will do a wood island (KD wants it lighter than our floors which will be refinished Brazilian Cherry brought to a warm medium dark brown). What wood/stain should I consider for the island?

    Also, she wants me to run the Taj up the wall as a backsplash. What do you think?

    Here is my slab:


    Kitchen floors will be stained:



  • mnmamax3
    1 hour ago

    Exciting! Better to be in than out today - it's still ridiculously hot out! I would try to get ahold of a sample stained the way you would like it, then start comparing wood species to it. I suspect it will be easier to find a complimentary color than it will be to find a wood species that will work. There is a lot going on with BC wood, so I would choose something mild enough to blend in, because the Taj will be fighting for attention too. Maple is pretty standard without a lot of grain. What wood is used for the cabinetry in your library/office room?

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